July 7, 2011 11:52 AM | By Jared Newman, PCWorld
12 tech revolutions that fizzled

Municipal Wi-Fi (2004)



San Francisco was just one city to scrap plans for municipal Wi-Fi (© PC World)
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Around 2004, the idea of making public Wi-Fi available citywide was all the rage in the United States. Municipalities around the nation started planning their own community-wide hotspots, many of them partnering with private companies such as EarthLink and AT&T.

But within a few years, things went sour. Wi-Fi was expensive to implement, and the technology turned out to be not very good at covering large areas. By 2007, many cities had pulled back or scrapped their muni Wi-Fi plans.

* Video: The high cost of free Wi-Fi

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